BEIJING – Chinese efforts to stop the spread of African swine fever has gained a new blow Friday, when the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that it has found the first case in wild pigs, deepening the three-month crisis for a world pork producer.
The country also confirmed the first epidemic in the southwestern province of Sichuan, the leading dust region in pigs, increasing the likelihood of a significant impact on the supply of pork in the coming months.
This disease was found in dead wild boars in Baishan, a province of Jilin, in northeastern China, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced in a statement published on its website.
"The new case means it will be even harder to control African swine fever. How do you control wild boar?" Said Iah Guiding, an analyst with consulting analysis of data on the China-America goods industry.
China has banned the transport of live pigs and products from regions infected with African swine fever and neighboring provinces to control the spread of highly contagious diseases, as well as banning cooking waste from pigs.
But the virus continued to spread despite government efforts, with more than 60 epidemics in 18 provinces across the nation since the beginning of August. A large wild boar population in China, which can keep the disease without symptoms, is estimated at around 33.5 million, according to Reuters data based on data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FARO).
Local authorities in Jilin examined neighboring areas that were present in wild boars and carried out a comprehensive sterilization of all pig farms in that area, according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Analysts say the discovery of wild boars has suggested that animals from other countries can bring the virus to China.
China has blamed the feeding of kitchen waste to pigs for the spread of the disease.
A very contagious disease was also detected at a 40-pig farm in Iibin, in the southern part of Sichuan.
"With a new case in Sichuan, all major pig producing provinces are now falling. The situation is very serious," said Yah.
China shares about 700 million pigs a year. Sichuan has produced nearly 66 million last year, according to official data, more than any other province.
Sichuan is also the province with the highest pork consumption in China at 36 kg (79 pounds), according to the National Institute of Statistics.
Provincial authorities in Sichuan released last week a ban on the import of all live pigs and pork products from other regions in order to maintain the disease.
But Iibin is close to the Sichuan border with Chongking and Guizhou Province, who have already reported epidemics.
Pig prices in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, are currently the highest in the country, thanks to strong local demand and acceleration after the disease infected nearby landscapes.
The prices fell 0.2 yuan on Friday from the day before to 17.7 yuan ($ 2.55 per kilogram), according to data collected by China-America goods analyst.
The discovery of African swine fever in Sichuan comes less than three months before the launch of the Lunar New Year at the beginning of February, which marks the Chinese peak demand period for pork.
There is no disease and no vaccine for the disease, and the virus can survive weekly in pig and fodder. – Reuters